All of these comments are my personal opinion based on listening in my system. With that said, please check out my system details on Audiogon.
My components perform better with XLR cables. Both Purist cables are a dramatic improvement over my previous cable. First thing that struck is the background noise. Somehow this cable removes noise from the entire system. You can hear back of stage events that never were audible before. The lowering of the noise floor allows details to emerge from LP's and CD's that I've heard dozens on times. However, this lower noise floor does not translate into loss of info in the top end. Actually, the Purist cable retains the air, sparkle, extension while being extremely quiet. You'll think it's a dark cable at first, but it's not. Quiet is the correct word.
The next interesting thing is that it adds a weight/foundation/wetness quality to the sound in all frequencies. It adds warmth everywhere without shifting the tonal balance. Just sounds more real and life like. The bass goes lower. I get bass extension that I never had. My Watt/Puppies are now really reaching down low in the bottom end. Again, without loss of detail, without being over powerful. I just goes lower.
The images are bigger, more round, but more separated. The illusion of movement is something you become aware of. You can hear and feel how the brush is moving across the snare drum. And which direction the brush strokes are going. The Image was a little wider, little deeper, and taller-for the main instruments. The spooky part comes into play on these back of hall, far side of hall events. You hear little things to the sides and to the rear of soundstage that is eerie.
The differences between the Opis and the Venustas are the Opis is more dynamic. You can feel things jump a little more. More punch in the drums. More bite in horns and and vocals. Also the Opis is more extended on top. Cymbals etc have a little more impact. The Venustas, is more reserved on the top end. You don't loose detail here, just a subtle shift. On strings, and in the mids, the Venustas has more of a wet, full sound. Not emphasis, just a little more weight is these areas. They are both great cables. I'd be fully happy with either. System matching and your budget will dictate which to choose. Either way, you won't go wrong. You might like one on digital and the other on Vinyl.
Given the differences above, both cables beat my Transparent Reference w/XL. That surprised me. Especially since my system is mostly fully wired with it. More everything. More detail, more extension at the frequency extremes, bigger images, bigger stage, plus this illusion of movement from the instruments. I never really had that before. It is much closer to the real thing in my opinion.
Both Purist cables were in my system approx 2 weeks. The Transparent was in the system about 2 years. All of these cable go through breakin. Same for Purist. These comments are based on listening and a purchase. I listen to both LP and digital sources.
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Transparent Reference with XL